Wednesday, May 31, 2023

May Cornucopia


May is over already, hard to believe. Here are some of the things I enjoyed consuming, reading, looking at, etc. this past month.


ICAD starts tomorrow, June 1st, 61 days of an Index Card A Day.




Some good news climate reporting, Electrifiy Everything. A lot of it is actually good news, it was a relief to read it!


I'm not completely fashion obsessed (obv.) but I always enjoy looking at the Met Gala looks.


25 Million Stitches is on displayed in San Diego through October 15.


I don't think I've ever entered a show at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, but I am considering this year's International Fiber Arts XI, due in June.


I haven't entered the Visions Gallery exhibit in a while, but I think I'm going to do it this year. The deadline to enter is 9/11. The show is called Art Quilts XXVIIII Breaking Rules, Honoring Tradition.


As a visual learner, I've gotten a lot out of watching this series of videos from Sue Spargo for her Stitch-a-Long that celebrates her 20 years in business.


If you want to understand all the hubbub surrounding trans and non-binary people in our country right now, you can't go wrong with reading this New Yorker interview with Masha Gessen What We Talk About When We Talk About Trans Rights  as well as this short interview with a writer who is trans that I really enjoy, Charlotte Clymer


The Nature of the Beast, finally an explanation and exploration of my garden nemesis, Himalayan Blackberry.


A truly great essay about one of my favorite movies ever, Everything Everywhere All At Once by an author from the Chinese diaspora.


I heard one of the people involved with this group on a podcast discussing some of the newest apocalyptic cults that have come out of QAnon and pandemic resistance and the Dominionist movement over the last few years. I checked out their blog and found that it has a lot of great information, Religion In Public. 


Monday, May 29, 2023

Two Basted

 Three day weekends always get my schedule off, plus two out of three household members have been very ill this weekend (thankfully not me). Anyways, I finally got myself organized yesterday to be able to do some quilt basting today, and hey, it worked out with absolutely no safety pins required.

First up is checking out which way the backing versus the top goes.
I'm finally trying out the Quilter's Dream Orient batting I bought years ago. It's a blend of silk, bamboo, Tencel, and cotton. The hand of it is quite lovely and soft, very drape-a-ble. As this is meant to be a bed quilt that'll work out great. I hope it quilts as easily as advertised.

This one needed the spray basting treatment, using the Odif 505 and a lot of the advice from Christa Watson.
I hung up the stick-i-fied backing (sticky side out of course) and had to sit down for a bit before putting up the batting. 

Placing the top on the batting was easier, I unfolded a bit at a time and smoothed the surface with a 24"ruler.
Onto the next one, the Orange Bullseye. I used my usual batting, the Hobbs 80/20 fusible for this one. It worked out very well. 
I even did some pre-ironing up on the design wall once I got the sandwich mostly smoothed out. 

It was a bit of a workout, but then I went horizontal on the ironing board and it wasn't quite so tough. 

Two quilts are now sandwiched and ready to be quilted, hurrah!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Trinket Things


Here's this week's Trinket blocks, Things #6-10.
This one was a bit hard, butI like how it ended up looking.
This is a weird one, like an envelope maybe? I decided that the lines of the words could be at angles instead of lined up.
I think this one might be my favorite. That strawberry really fit in the window.
The diamond shape doesn't come across very well because of the print. 

The X in the window.
Here's how it looked before the background got added.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Temperature Rainbow

I haven't posted much about the Temperature quilt, because honestly, I hadn't gotten going on it quite yet except for the background which isn't too exciting to look at. Finally I've worked out which colors are which temperatures. That was the hardest part for some reason.  Here's the rainbow! These are all of my own hand-dyes.
So here's some action shots of cutting out the very first temperature bracket 25 -30 (Farenheit to be clear). I only needed to cut out 9 of this color so far this year.
Then I moved onto cutting out the next range, 31-35. There are a lot more required than the first range, already need 36 of this color.
As I have to cut all these shapes ahead of time and then try to keep them organized, I decided to make myself some labels. For some reason, I didn't think about how gigantic these ended up. Also, a second note to myself, check the printer's color levels!
As I go along I'm also figuring out which colors I may need to dye some more fabric to hopefully match closely enough if needed. What are the chances that we get below 30F in the winter this year? Pretty I better figure this out.

Friday, May 26, 2023

New Tool Review: Magic Carpet

 My new very favorite tool in my workroom is this crazy looking beast. So pointy!

Can you tell what it is? 
Here's a rotary cutter for size comparison.
I got to choose the colors that it was made in from a very wide selection. I'm very very pleased with how great this looks (it reminds me of a Pokemon for some reason?!).

It's a Magic Carpet sewing machine foot pedal platform from Plastic & Sawdust on Etsy.
It fits my sewing machine pedal absolutely perfectly. And the maker is very open to making adjustments to sizing, they even checked with me to make sure my pedal would fit.
The opening on the side fits the plug very well. The pointy feet sink right into my carpet, and 
It Does Not Move
I'm so excited that this thing works, I've been getting very frustrated with my sewing machine pedal lately. That moment when you realize you're in a weird one leg stretched way out position and your back hurts because you're sitting so strangely as you chase the pedal will no longer happen. Perfect. 
Highly recommend this if you're sewing in a carpeted room.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Shade Please


One of our outdoor sunshades got a bit shredded in the windstorm this winter. This one is our very oldest and it stays up year round. I've already repaired it once before and now it's time once again. It's now sunny again and time for the seasonal shades to go back up so I'm really missing this one. It blocks most of the early morning sun, so I can't ever sleep in past 7am. The kind of silly concerns of the retired, I know I know.
During the mad dash to take this down during the storm, I really thought it had gotten shredded, but in fact, it did not. It just split at the main seam line and along the side seams. The fabric although faded is still quite strong, the weak point is the thread.
There's also some very confused lichen growing on it. I'm sure it would rather be on one of our old trees instead of a man-made sunshade. I'll have to scrape this off before we put it back up once the repairs are done. Also, if you compare this picture to the one above, you can see how much this has faded over the years. It's held up better than any other outdoor fabric we've used though.

Cruella rides again! My Pfaff has a name, because I sold my Porsche 914 to buy her, and he had a name, Bud. I had some 101 Dalmations stickers that my kids found and were sticking on everything in the house, including the machine. It's an illustration of Cruella, thus the name.
I got all set up out on the deck on a very overcast day, but not drippy foggy. Perfect for outdoor sewing. The reason I'm sewing outside with an extension cord is because this thing is rather big, and definitely somewhat dirty. 

I'm also using a UV resistant outdoor thread in the top and bobbin

It all went pretty quickly once I re-learned how to rethread and wind a bobbin. Every machine is a little different of course.
I'm really glad that the sewing seems to be holding up fairly well near the hardware because my machine was not up to sewing through that thick of a lump. Hand stitching this section would be very tough.

I even used some Wonderclips at one point. 

Could I have thrown this away and bought another one, yes, of course. But! I knew I could fix it so that it would likely last another two years and put off the purchase of yet another thing made out of plastic. I had the time, tools, and set up to get it done, so it was worth it to me to give it a try. It'll get re-hung this weekend, and then I can finally sleep in.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wandering Wednesday - Sunset State Beach

 Saturday morning we drove out to Kitayama Brothers to pick up our Gerbera And Go order. It's a fundraiser for Friends of the Santa Cruz State Parks. The back seat of our car was absolutely filled up with enormous Gerbera plants. This is how the rolling fields that are right next to the ocean looked as we drove in, so beautiful with the mustard in the foreground.
We got there around 11 am and it was rather foggy as we expectedl. We could barely make out the twin stacks of the Moss Landing power plant in the distance.

It's very rare for me to go to the beach and not take my shoes off, but in this case it was too cold. Those are my Pantone color of the year(Viva Magenta) Cariuma sneakers with a pair of great socks that match that friend Jaye gave me.
The beach was pretty densely populated with these jellyfish-ish blue critters, velellas.

They really were a quite brilliant blue.
I was pleased that there weren't so many of them that they stunk, that happened to us on a visit years ago, it made it hard to spend a lot of time hanging out on the beach.
We could just see barely see Santa Cruz.

The hillside dunes had so many wildflowers, it was really beautiful. I used the Seek app to figure out the names. This one is European Searocket a non-native in the mustard family. Can be considered a noxious weed.
This is of course, California Poppy, duking it out with the Searocket.
This one was so cute and growing right at sand level, the flower cluster would have fit in the palm of my hand easily, it's a native called Pink Sand Verbena.

Sage and poppies.
This is my favorite picture of the day for obvious reasons.

And of course, just as we left, the clouds lifted and it was brilliant blue and warm. I love seeing the cloud reflections in the sand.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Pantone Project Blocks Again

 Pantone Project rides again, with five more blocks done. That's 45, almost halfway there.
I ended up finding a few more candidates for the Cactus Flower fabric but they were all either too red or not red enough, or too much of a print with other colors. This one still worked the best.
A blurry photo, what?
I really liked the purple with the small white shapes, I thought using it an angle worked out well. The purple postcard is quite dark in this photo, I think because it was in a bit of a shadow when I took this picture because it was down towards the bottom of my design wall. It's a much closer match of the color.